Dr. Rajiv Shah serves as the 16th Administrator of USAID and leads the efforts of more than 9,600 professionals in 80 missions around the world.
Since being sworn in on Dec. 31, 2009, Shah managed the U.S. Government's response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; co-chaired the State Department's first review of American diplomacy and development operations; and now spearheads President Barack Obama's landmark Feed the Future food security initiative. He is also leading “USAID Forward,” an extensive set of reforms to USAID's business model focusing on seven key areas, including procurement, science & technology, and monitoring & evaluation.
Before becoming USAID's Administrator, Shah served as undersecretary for research, education and economics, and as chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At USDA, he launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which significantly elevated the status and funding of agricultural research.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Shah served for seven years with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including as director of agricultural development in the Global Development Program, and as director of strategic opportunities.
Originally from Detroit, Shah earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and his master's in health economics from the Wharton School of Business. He attended the London School of Economics and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Shah is married to Shivam Mallick Shah and is the father of three children. He lives in Washington, D.C.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Raj, thank you very much. Deputy Administrator Steinberg. I missed Caroline, a great, good friend. I understand she was here earlier.
Today marks 50 years of USAID working to end poverty worldwide. Thank you to USAID employees, alumni and our government, donor and implementing partners for working to save lives and end poverty. Thank you to Ambassador Booth and our colleagues from the US Embassy and the Peace Corps for your support in accomplishing our shared mission.
Welcome to the celebration of USAID's 50th anniversary and let me the first to wish all of you a happy birthday. It is a great honor as well to be able to introduce our first speaker, Ms. Caroline Kennedy.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be here today -- both to speak about the important work that USAID has done in the last 50 years; and to speak with those of you who are carrying out the agency's singular and vital mission.
Fifty-one years ago, a young man in the midst of a tough presidential campaign described the American nation poised on the edge of a new frontier-a frontier that offered hope, as well as new challenges. As he accepted the Democratic Nomination for the Presidency, Senator John F. Kennedy called on Americans to push past this frontier. He spoke with a conviction that global prosperity and security could be achieved through human progress, and that our future as a nation would be determined by our actions-and good deeds-across the developing world.
For the vast majority of human history, mankind has been stuck in a trap.
Every time the world economy expanded or technology would progress, populations would increase. Besides an extremely small number of royals and elites, on average, people didn’t become wealthier. Economic growth and development as we understand it today simply didn’t exist.
I came here to share a very brief message, and it's just, "thank you". The work that you do around the world really does represent the very best of American values. You know that -- and of course, so many people here in the community where you reside appreciate that -- but I just wanted to let you know that this Administration appreciates that. Certainly USAID as a partner agency is deeply proud of the longstanding and ever expanding partnership that we have with World Vision.
Thank you. I am honored to be here with so many distinguished guests, friends and colleagues for the release of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) 2011 Global Tuberculosis Control Report. I want to recognize Dr Mario Raviglione, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Harold Jaffe, and Ms. Deborah von Zinkernagel.
I appreciate this opportunity to deliver remarks at this important conference concerned with water and health and the related intersection between science and policy.
Recently, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah delivered an address at the TED annual conference where he noted that "… scientific and technological breakthroughs do more than address specific technical challenges; they inspire collective action by turning impossible challenges into solvable problems."
I’m honored to participate in this panel. I have been a great admirer of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the CBC Foundation since its creation in 1976. 1976 was first time I went to live in Africa, and the CBC has been my partner throughout my whole experience on the continent. In many ways, the CBC has been the eyes, the ears and the conscience of the American people with respect to that continent.
Last updated: August 04, 2014